As a quick background — geographically located in Southeast Europe between Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Greece, Albania has an interesting political history. Albania was ruled by the Ottoman Empire till when it declared its independence , but was conquered by Italy in and then by Germany in In , it became a Socialist State and the Party of Labor and Enver Hoxha took control of the country till the early s. This book was not available as an e-book and the hard copy of the book had to be imported. His works have brought him into frequent conflict with the authorities and he sought political asylum in France in He now divides his time between Paris and Tirana.
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As a quick background — geographically located in Southeast Europe between Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Greece, Albania has an interesting political history. Albania was ruled by the Ottoman Empire till when it declared its independence , but was conquered by Italy in and then by Germany in In , it became a Socialist State and the Party of Labor and Enver Hoxha took control of the country till the early s.
This book was not available as an e-book and the hard copy of the book had to be imported. His works have brought him into frequent conflict with the authorities and he sought political asylum in France in He now divides his time between Paris and Tirana.
The book starts with Gjorg who is forced to commit a murder under the laws of the Kanun to avenge the death of his brother. He then has to travel to the kulla of Orsha to pay the blood tax and has 30 days as part of a truce before he can be killed by the avenging family. The second part of the book introduces a husband and wife on a honeymoon trip to the high plateau with the husband telling his wife all about the Kunan.
The third section involves the steward of the blood who is responsible for collection of blood tax and is currently facing an all-time shortage in collection of revenues as people are not killing each other enough.
Most of the book concentrates on the workings of the Kanun through the changing perspectives of these characters and at some point all their paths cross, setting in motion events ensuring that the lives for none of them will ever be the same again. Also, while reading the book I went online to check if this entire concept of Kanun is fictional or if it actually exists. I was quite surprised to learn that Kanun actually exists, it was prevalent till the early part of this century and is reviving post the end of the communist rule.
The second a macabre yet fascinating element of this book is the entire economy surrounding blood feud. Under the kanun, a house is first for god and guest before it is for its master. Hence every guest for one night is elevated to the position of god.
These people provide food and shelter to the guest, are ready to sacrifice for them and even avenge their deaths while the guest is under their protection. Another custom mentioned in the book is that of the wedding bullet.
Should the wife decide to leave her husband for any reason, the husband can shoot her with that bullet and her death will not need any revenge. This book kind of leaves you sad with the entire tragedy surrounding men who are forced to avenge killings and in turn be killed so early in their lives.
Even if they seek refuge in the tower of immunity they are stuck there for years without any contact with the outside world. Women have no say or any standing in the society.
This book is beautifully written and is definitely a must read for anyone interested in learning about the Kanun and its working and the Albanian way of life in the olden times. For other books on Albania, I am sharing my short list below for anyone who is interested in further reading on this country. I myself hope to read all of these books someday —.
Thanks for the recommendations. Like Like. That was fascinating, and your write-up, excellent, indeed. We are a strange lot, we humans. Thank You so much for that insight; as I said; fascinating! Like Liked by 1 person. What a fantastic post. Great post! You positive comments melted my heart! You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.
You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new posts via email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Broken April by Ismail Kadare. Like this: Like Loading Like Like Reply. Thanks…I was quite intrigued by this custom too… Like Liked by 1 person Reply. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:.
Email required Address never made public. Name required. Follow Blog via Email Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Join 9, other followers. Like how the artist has used green between islands and not the blue of the sea, as the original islands were not separated by water but by marsh.. I am now collecting my Bombaybooks to accompany it on my shelf.. Mention of Cappadocia always invokes an image of hotairballoons flying over a unique rocky landscape.
But during our trip here we realised that it has so much more to see, do and eat than just balloons and the same insta shots. We came across these interesting grave stones in an ancient cemetery in the suleymaniye mosque. For them each tombstone was unique in its own way as it represented the biography of the person buried under it.
Each grave typically had two tombstones — a small vertical footstone and a large vertical headstone with Arabic writing on both sides. The headstone was topped with the representation of the headdress of the deceased and described the sex and station of the deceased.
The footstone was dedicated to their show of faith. Check out the blog post for detailed info on this. I have read some really good… twitter. Follow on Facebook. Nomination for Awards. Member of. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.
Books of The Times; An Albanian Tale of Ineluctable Vengeance
Book reviews from a Uruguayan reader Index of reads. After shooting his brother's killer, young Gjorg is entitled to thirty days' grace - not enough to see out the month of April. Then a visiting honeymoon couple cross the path of the fugitive. The bride's heart goes out to Gjorg, and even these 'civilised' strangers from the city risk becoming embroiled in the fatal mechanism of vendetta. Why did I read this?
From the moment that Gjorg's brother is killed by a neighbour, his own life is forfeit: for the Kanun, the code of the blood feud that operates in the Albanian mountains, requires Gjorg to kill his brother's murderer and then in turn to become an outcast to be hunted down by the new victim's family. After lying in ambush and shooting his brother's killer, young Gjorg is entitled to thirty days' grace - not enough to see out the month of April. While the rites of death, bereavement, mourning and vengeance are fulfilled with traditional solemnity in the village, a visiting honeymoon couple, traveling to learn about the ways of the mountain folk, cross the path of the fugitive. The bride's heart goes out to Gjorg, and even these 'civilised' strangers from the city risk becoming embroiled in the fatal mechanism of vendetta. Ismail Kadare. Translations of his novels have appeared in more than forty countries. Our Lists.
Broken April is a novel by award-winning Albanian author Ismail Kadare. Published in , the book explores one of Kadare's recurring themes: how the past affects the present. Gjorg Berisha, a year-old Albanian man living on the country's high plateau,  is forced to commit a murder under the laws of the Kanun to avenge his brother. As a result of this killing, his own death is sealed; he is to be killed by a member of the opposing family. Broken April was lauded by reviewers upon its release. The New York Times described it as "written with masterly simplicity in a bardic style", while The Wall Street Journal declared Kadare "one of the most compelling novelists now writing in any language. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
New Amsterdam Books. It is doubly fascinating to read a novel by Albania's most popular writer when 34 nations -- including every European country except Albania -- have just signed the Charter of Paris for a New Europe. For what Ismail Kadare's powerful novel clearly shows is that Albania, the most closed of all Eastern European societies, is still haunted by the deadly traditions of an Old Europe. In the hands of an instinctive novelist, fiction can forecast actuality; if something hasn't yet happened, rest assured it will. Kadare that have been translated from the Albanian for American readers.